Afghanistan: August 29, 2002


 More Afghan refugees have returned home that relief agencies expected, and this is causing problems it finding shelter and food for everyone. Since the Taliban were driven from power late last year, 1.6 million refugees have returned (1.4 million from Pakistan, 170,000 from Iran and 10,000 from other Central Asian nations.) Iran has been accused of forcing refugees to go home. There has been some anti-refugee pressure in Pakistan, but nothing like the use of force and coercion in Iran. The aid agencies have trouble getting enough materials and food into Afghanistan to deal with all the refugees. Corruption, fraud and banditry are major problems in Afghanistan. If you are not careful, most of the aid will disappear before the majority of people that need it can get it.

US patrols continue to comb the hills along the Pakistan border, looking for weapons and al Qaeda or Taliban members. The weapons caches are out there, for 107mm rockets are still being fired at US bases in the area. The rockets are very inaccurate, and usually land in open terrain, or a local village.


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